So as not to give the impression that the staff retreat was merely fun and games, let me report that we spent all afternoon and the morning going through a Vision/Missions/Imperatives paper that Phil has been working on for months as part of the Strategic Planning Initiative. We also considered the implications of the Spiritual Health Survey. As with all the Session meetings, the retreat was marked by vigorous discussion and a good spirit of working together. This was the first time that the pastoral staff was able to discuss together at length how the SPI would affect the ministries they are responsible for. When the lengthy SPI process is done, whatever the final vision and implications that come forth, will be the result of involvement of the congregation, leaders, and staff. I grow more and more excited and confident of the Lord's work in all of this. Two traits about Phil strike me as I observe him through this process: one, is his ability to read, comprehend, and formulate lots of material at a deep and thorough level. The other is his desire to make the process one of true collaboration, submitting everything he produces to the examination of others. The result is a document that is being owned by everyone involved in the process, and which I no doubt will be owned by the congregation.